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Dragon queen
2009-11-26, 09:41 AM
So at the end of last session, I saw my DM, known as Gamerkid I believe on this forum, writing something on a piece of paper, I asked him what it was, and he told me it was a monster for next session. So I took a peek at the paper when he wasn't looking.

He's throwing a level 7 Gnoll ranger savage berserker at us next session! With over 100 HP!

We're just a level 2 party composing of:
Me, a Razorclaw shifter ranger.
A Deva sorcerer.
A Teifling fighter.
A Eldarin invoker.
And a Human cleric.

Any tips,tactics, or criticism of our party build? :smalleek:

Aron Times
2009-11-26, 10:00 AM
It's one monster, albeit a much higher-level one. Use all your dailies on it and you should win.

Yakk
2009-11-26, 10:05 AM
How accurate are you as a party?

100 HP is only 20 HP per party member. The hard part will be staying up under the pounding while you actually manage to hit.

Dragon queen
2009-11-26, 10:05 AM
Thanks for the advice, I'm a newby.

Problem is, from the looks of its stats, IIRC, it had some pretty high defenses.

Kurald Galain
2009-11-26, 10:11 AM
He's throwing a level 7 Gnoll ranger savage berserker at us next session! With over 100 HP!
Ah, it's five levels above you, you should be able to handle that.

Make sure the cleric only heals people that are already in negatives. Also, have everyone carry at least one potion of healing, and suggest that one or two people take a multiclass feat to cleric, warlord or bard to give them an additional healing power.

Take out your dailies and use them. Take out your action points and use those, too. If you have anything that does automatic damage (like the wizard's flaming sphere, but sorcerers and invokers have similar powers), use it.

Given the high defenses, I hope everyone has an 18 or 20 in their primary attack stat? That's an easy tweak that always helps. Also, if anyone has a feat that boosts damage, consider replacing it by a feat that boosts accuracy (because that is almost always a better boost to average damage).

BRC
2009-11-26, 10:16 AM
Is it's name "Hogger" Perchance?

Gamerlord
2009-11-26, 10:37 AM
So at the end of last session, I saw my DM, known as Gamerkid I believe on this forum, writing something on a piece of paper, I asked him what it was, and he told me it was a monster for next session. So I took a peek at the paper when he wasn't looking.

He's throwing a level 7 Gnoll ranger savage berserker at us next session! With over 100 HP!

We're just a level 2 party composing of:
Me, a Razorclaw shifter ranger.
A Deva sorcerer.
A Teifling fighter.
A Eldarin invoker.
And a Human cleric.

Any tips,tactics, or criticism of our party build? :smalleek:

You.did.WHAT? :smallfurious:
Grrrrrrrrr.......

In other news, no, its name is not Hogger.

BRC
2009-11-26, 10:39 AM
You.did.WHAT? :smallfurious:
Grrrrrrrrr.......

In other news, no, its name is not Hogger.

Uh-oh, somebodies in TROUBLE!

Word of advice, when you Metagame, don't post for suggestions on a forum you know the DM frequents.

That said, Gamerkid, any bloody vengence you desire is justified against the Metagamer who sneaks a peak at your notes.

Gamerlord
2009-11-26, 10:41 AM
Uh-oh, somebodies in TROUBLE!

Word of advice, when you Metagame, don't post for suggestions on a forum you know the DM frequents.

That said, Gamerkid, any bloody vengence you desire is justified against the Metagamer who sneaks a peak at your notes.

Actually, she is a newbie, I'll show mercy THIS ONE TIME!

Sliver
2009-11-26, 10:49 AM
I might try this next time I DM something IRL.. At the end of the session write some details about some strong monster, way over CR for the PCs and just go to the bathroom or something before everybody leave.. :smallbiggrin:

gman
2009-11-26, 10:52 AM
Break out the dailies, but because a monster several levels above you is hard to hit, wait until the cleric hits it with something like lance of faith or righteous brand so that you'll have a higher than usual to hit bonus when you use that daily. Combat advantage is a must too. If you're a human with action point, use that too. You could even take it in turns to use aid another if the hit effect of the daily is good enough.

Tyndmyr
2009-11-26, 11:02 AM
It's one monster, albeit a much higher-level one. Use all your dailies on it and you should win.

This. 4E is surprisingly forgiving.

You've got three ranged strikers, you should have some damage on it before it notices you're there, and it really isn't all that difficult to take it down rapidly with your group. And you've got a cleric too to patch ya'll up, so just don't get one shot.

Oh, and asking for advice is not metagaming.

BRC
2009-11-26, 11:04 AM
Oh, and asking for advice is not metagaming.
Yes, but sneaking a peak at the DM's notes is.

Sir_Elderberry
2009-11-26, 11:04 AM
Oh, and asking for advice is not metagaming.
Not unless the character starts taking actions based on the fact that the player knows a L7 Elite Gnoll Ranger is coming up.

And looking at DM sheets without permission, while not metagaming, isn't very nice.

Tyndmyr
2009-11-26, 11:40 AM
Yes, but sneaking a peak at the DM's notes is.

Not metagaming.

Bad thing to do, sure, but metagaming isn't a catch-all term for everything negative.

Shadow_Elf
2009-11-26, 12:01 PM
Not metagaming.

Bad thing to do, sure, but metagaming isn't a catch-all term for everything negative.

It is metagaming. The characters now know to save their dailies/action points/what-have-you for an enemy only the players know of in advance.

Kiero
2009-11-26, 12:06 PM
That said, Gamerkid, any bloody vengence you desire is justified against the Metagamer who sneaks a peak at your notes.

Yeah, because that's a mature response...

Leon
2009-11-26, 12:41 PM
Yeah, because that's a mature response...

The better response is to let them think its a 7th lvl elite Gnoll but turns out to be something else (and possibly Worse)

Vitruviansquid
2009-11-26, 12:45 PM
Are you even sure you know that you're supposed to fight this gnoll? Are you sure the battle doesn't take place somewhere special so that you get a terrain advantage? Don't you trust your DM provide a way?

Zen Master
2009-11-26, 12:47 PM
Now, what's really interesting here is the encounter that comes just after 'Hogger'. That's the real beauty - trick the players into burning all their dailies on one encounter, then throw another big challenge at them.

Naturally, I assume this was the whole point of leaving the note around to be found. And the explanation for Gamerkids forgiving attitude =)

Yakk
2009-11-26, 12:49 PM
It is both metagaming, and cheating (as in you intruded on the DM's private notes).

Metagaming, because you want to extend your player knowledge (gained from cheating) to your character (so they can defeat the gnoll).

Cheating, because you are not supposed to (as a player) look at the DM's private notes.

Gamerlord
2009-11-26, 12:51 PM
Now, what's really interesting here is the encounter that comes just after 'Hogger'. That's the real beauty - trick the players into burning all their dailies on one encounter, then throw another big challenge at them.

Naturally, I assume this was the whole point of leaving the note around to be found. And the explanation for Gamerkids forgiving attitude =)

That was a busy session, No doubt she looked at it when I was double-checking the stats for the elf paladin of Torog they were fighting near the end. The reason it was out in the open is that my DM screen hasn't come yet ( :smallannoyed: ) and I was checking its stats when the sorcerer used his chromatic orb power on the pally.

Gamerlord
2009-11-26, 12:53 PM
Are you even sure you know that you're supposed to fight this gnoll? Are you sure the battle doesn't take place somewhere special so that you get a terrain advantage? Don't you trust your DM provide a way?

It is going to be a straight up fight.

Yakk
2009-11-26, 01:02 PM
It is going to be a straight up fight.

By the way, throwing a level+5 elite at a party is slightly outside the bounds of the encounter building guildlines. If the elite happens to be a soldier or brute, that also stretches the guildlines.

On the other hand, a level +5 elite is *2 (elite)*2(+4 levels)*1.2 (+1 level), or (by the rules) about an even-level challenge. But because you are at the edge of the encounter building guildlines, the stability of it will be much crazier.

And if the creature is a MM1elite (or an elite produced by DMG1 templates), things get worse, as defence goes up faster than offence does.

I'd be more comfortable reworking the creature into a level+0 or level+1 solo myself. This would bring the creature's defences down to the point where you aren't overly rewarding "more to-hit bonus" optimisation, reduce the reward for auto-hit powers and the like, and imply a 2 phase fight (pre-bloodied, and a power-up when bloodied). Plus, instead of the creature nearly auto-hitting, the creature would miss about half of the time.

But that is just me.

Gamerlord
2009-11-26, 01:03 PM
I used the guidelines in the DMG for making NPCs, and slapped a template on it, its within their XP budget!

Yakk
2009-11-26, 01:39 PM
I used the guidelines in the DMG for making NPCs, and slapped a template on it, its within their XP budget!
*nod*. Except, of course, the DMG also tells you not to throw L+5 elites at players. And don't throw near L+5 soldiers or brutes at players.

Instead of what you did, you could take a lower level (3 or 4) gnoll monster, throw the ranger template on it, then throw another aggressive template on it. Then give it solo-level HP (using DMG2 rules and templates ideally, not DMG1 rules).

I'd maybe start with a Graywall Gnoll Mercenary, de-level it, add ranger template, maybe tack on a whirling barbarian template (which might need a tad of homebrew), change the weapon to a double-flail, fill it full of minor action based attacks from the ranger class.

Have it hold back on the Whirling Barbarian rage power until it is bloodied (giving it a nice upgrade). Also, replace the pack power with an accuracy/damage bonus like +1d6 while bloodied (ie, roll d20+1d6 for all attacks while bloodied, and deal +1d6 damage). And maybe recharge the class encounter powers.

Maybe toss some recharge action onto the line sweep power while you are at it. And boost the damage die of the flail to d12. And pick a close burst barbarian encounter attack power...

Next, add in the "no shutting the monster down" -- as a non action at the start of their turn, the creature can become dazed and lose 1/10 of max HP to shrug off any one condition (recharge 456).

The result would be a creature that the players could hit, that would last reasonably long time, and would threaten the party sufficiently.

But that would just be me. I like having creatures that the party can hit -- "you miss" gets boring, and just leads to players having to massively optimise to-hit chance.

Logalmier
2009-11-26, 01:42 PM
I like having creatures that the party can hit -- "you miss" gets boring, and just leads to players having to massively optimise to-hit chance.

You act like that's a bad thing.:smalltongue:

Shadow_Elf
2009-11-26, 01:42 PM
I used the guidelines in the DMG for making NPCs, and slapped a template on it, its within their XP budget!

"Within their XP Budget" =/= "Acceptable Encounter".

For example, say I have a level 1 party of 5. Say I want them to fight a single monster, and make it an easy, "pre-boss" encounter. Here are my options for a level + 0 encounter:

1 Level 1 Solo
1 Level 6 Elite
1 Level 10 Normal
1 Level 18 Minion

I will let someone like Yakk or Gralamin who is good at crunching the numbers, but of these four options, it is clear that the level 1 Solo is the best choice for emulating the desired encounter. So, instead of using the level 7 Elite, make a level 2 Solo. That way, your PCs also don't know its stats (since its statblock'll be different) you can still surprise them, and it will not result in craziness.

EDIT: Ninja'd it seems. I took way to long to write this post.

Gamerlord
2009-11-26, 01:52 PM
The DMG itself says that "four to five levels above them is not a killer encounter"

Asbestos
2009-11-26, 01:54 PM
Wait, so its a gnoll with both the Ranger template and the Savage Beserker template stacked on? Sounds more like a level 7 Solo to me. Also, Savage Berserker can cause some damn hard to kill critters and can gain APs... attack its Will? That's probably the lowest Defense it has.

Good luck, I made a Gnoll Barbarian Savage Beserker for someone requesting a Solo... apparently it thrashed half the party and it wasn't 5 levels above them.

Thajocoth
2009-11-26, 01:56 PM
A 5 level difference + elite at level 2 is really out of range for an appropriate enemy to face. You're best off running away, but that's meta-gaming. Granted, I once pitted a party of level 3s against a level 6, level 7, level 7 elite and level 8 elite in a campaign I ran poorly... The 6 & 7 switched sides when one of the other two were brought down and it was their only encounter that day... Bo maybe it's still possible to defeat them.


Wait, so its a gnoll with both the Ranger template and the Savage Beserker template stacked on? Sounds more like a level 7 Solo to me. Also, Savage Berserker can cause some damn hard to kill critters and can gain APs... attack its Will? That's probably the lowest Defense it has.

Good luck, I made a Gnoll Barbarian Savage Beserker for someone requesting a Solo... apparently it thrashed half the party and it wasn't 5 levels above them.

It could be an elite if they used the Ranger NPC creating thingy with the Gnoll race instead of an existing Gnoll monster, THEN added the template.

Gamerlord
2009-11-26, 01:56 PM
Wait, so its a gnoll with both the Ranger template and the Savage Beserker template stacked on? Sounds more like a level 7 Solo to me. Also, Savage Berserker can cause some damn hard to kill critters and can gain APs... attack its Will? That's probably the lowest Defense it has.

Good luck, I made a Gnoll Barbarian Savage Beserker for someone requesting a Solo... apparently it thrashed half the party and it wasn't 5 levels above them.

No no no, I built it as a NPC, not as a monster with templates slapped on it.

Thajocoth
2009-11-26, 01:59 PM
The DMG itself says that "four to five levels above them is not a killer encounter"

That doesn't really apply until level 5-6.

Yakk
2009-11-26, 02:05 PM
You act like that's a bad thing.:smalltongue:
Massive to-hit optimisation is already very effective against near even-level opponents.

Against over-leveled opponents, it dominates over pretty much every other build choice.

I consider making an already pretty damn good build choice (I hit reliably) into a dominant one (if you don't min/max for hit chance, you are screwed) a bad thing to do systematically. And many people seem to think "if the encounter is too hard, throw higher level opponents at them" to be a good idea, instead of "throw more opponents at them".

Which leads to players who aren't min/maxing their to-hit chance having a boring time as all of their powers miss.

FoE
2009-11-26, 02:07 PM
Gamerkid, I would suggest re-thinking your encounter here. A single high-level gnoll ranger isn't going to be that great of a fight, unless you've got some really funky terrain/traps going on. It's either going to be a matter of "we can't hit him!" or "let's surround the gnoll and wear him down". The latter is what happens with a lot of Solo fights, but at least they're tailored to fighting parties. What can your gnoll ranger do?

Just because it's within the XP budget doesn't mean it's an appropriate encounter. Use some lower-level gnolls say, some level 4 and level 5 beasts and throw three or four of them at the PCs. Apply the Savage Berserker template to one of those guys. Or at least pair the elite with some hyenas or something.

Gamerlord
2009-11-26, 02:10 PM
He has 154 HP, AC 17, Fortitude 23, Reflex 19, Will 17.

How will he be a "easy challenge"?

FoE
2009-11-26, 02:15 PM
He's facing five attacks per round and his best defence is Fortitude. He's either unbeatable or he's going to get murked (especially if your guys have some good Will attacks).

Gamerlord
2009-11-26, 02:17 PM
He still has high defenses all around, and has a ton of HP to boot.

Gamerlord
2009-11-26, 02:18 PM
He's facing five attacks per round and his best defence is Fortitude. He's either unbeatable or he's going to get murked (especially if your guys have some good Will attacks).

Their primary shtick is reflex and AC attacks.

erikun
2009-11-26, 02:33 PM
Assuming this is a ranger, he can only hit 2 characters at a time. No bursts, no blasts, no AoE. The fact that the party knows this and can keep him there with a fighter/warden means that they don't need to worry about the gnoll suddenly eating the party wizard.

Base attacks for hitting reflex should be around +6, or around +8 with a melee weapon. They need a 9+ to hit AC (60%) and a 13+ (40%) to hit reflex. Overall, half their attacks will be hitting.

Assuming everyone throws out a daily (~15 damage) and an encounter (~10 damage) and half of them miss, that should take about 60 damage off his total HP. From turn 3 out, the party will need to resort to their 5-damage-a-shot at will attacks to chisel through the remaining 100 HP.


Overall? While it isn't necessarily bad, the party will probably get rather bored rather quickly. Their general strategy will be "Hit it with dailies!" for the first two rounds and then surround the gnoll and smack it around for another 10 turns until it falls down. Conversely, the party needs to withstand 20+ damage dailies and 15+ damage encounters until the gnoll runs out, and then hope they have enough second winds to endure the remaining turns.

Gamerlord
2009-11-26, 02:37 PM
He has some shifty-like powers, if he can tell they are ganging up on him, he'll just two-wolf pounce over to the sorcerer and go SLASHSLASHSLASH

Yakk
2009-11-26, 02:45 PM
He has 154 HP, AC 17, Fortitude 23, Reflex 19, Will 17.

How will he be a "easy challenge"?
So the standard rule is to subtract your level from your defences to see how good they are.

14 for AC and 12 for other defences is "decent for the level".

In your case, we get 10 AC, 16 Fort, 12 Reflex, 10 Will.

So your Gnoll has abysmal AC, great Fort, and low Will for its level.

+3 from 16 = 13+L/2 dex, +3 Hide, +3 level, +1 inherit -- that's 20 AC for an NPC built level 7 Gnoll wearing Hide? (or did I mix up the NPC and Monster creation rules?)

...

The point of the "a level 7 elite is a bad idea" isn't that a given level 7 elite will be too powerful, or too weak -- is is that the mechanics of the game break down, and from the description "level 7 elite against a level 2 party" you cannot tell if it is going to be a snooze fest, a slaughter or an interesting fight.

Gamerlord
2009-11-26, 02:48 PM
Good point, but I'm running them through it anyway next session, I'll post the results afterwords.

Asbestos
2009-11-26, 05:54 PM
No no no, I built it as a NPC, not as a monster with templates slapped on it.

Oh ok. I still think people are overlooking the Savage Beserker template though. The Savage Beserker actually WANTS the Fighter to make melee attacks against it because then it can make a melee basic attack against the Fighter.

So everyone knows what I'm talking about.

Savage Berserker Elite Brute (leader)
Humanoid XP Elite
Defenses +4 Fortitude
Saving Throws +2
Action Point 1
Hit Points +10 per level + Constitution score
Regeneration 5 at 1st level, 10 at 11th level, 15 at 21st level
Powers
Murderous Frenzy
The savage berserker gains 1 action point the first time it
reduces a foe to 0 hit points in an encounter.
Savage Rebuke (immediate reaction, when hit by a melee
attack; at will)
The savage berserker makes a basic melee attack.


I haven't the faintest idea why it has the 'leader' subtype.
Also, not healing people until they're in the Negatives? That's fine, but keep in mind the first time someone goes below 0 the Gnoll is going to gain a 2nd AP.

The SB is pretty much the go-to template when making a Solo monster because of its ability to gain an AP and smack people outside of its own turn. Were I DMing this thing I'd ignore the fighter's marks (I've got plenty of HP to sacrifice for a while) and if he hits, I'd just lay the Gnoll's Savage Rebuke into the fighter. That'll learn him.

Guinea Anubis
2009-11-26, 06:00 PM
the SB template is very nasty and I can say this it will put a hurting on the party but I don't see it being a TPK. In fact I would be a little surprised if he lives more then 3 rounds.

Asbestos
2009-11-26, 06:03 PM
the SB template is very nasty and I can say this it will put a hurting on the party but I don't see it being a TPK. In fact I would be a little surprised if he lives more then 3 rounds.

I've seen same level baddies live more than 3 rounds, I'm pretty sure this guy will be fine. Recall that the party only has access to one daily a piece.

Gamerlord
2009-11-26, 06:21 PM
If the baddie misses on his daily and encounter attacks, hes toast.

Asbestos
2009-11-26, 06:30 PM
If the baddie misses on his daily and encounter attacks, hes toast.

Yeah, but he's less likely to miss than the PCs. That's pretty key. It'll be interesting to hear how this plays out, when do you plan on running this guy?

AgentPaper
2009-11-26, 07:05 PM
It seems it's too late to change the encounter, but if it were me, I'd say reduce him to a level 5 or so gnoll ranger, keep the berserker template, and then stick him in a place with a bunch of narrow corridors, traps, hidden passageways, murderholes, and so on, and then have him use hit-and-run tactics. Moving around on raised platforms and bridges, pelting the party with ranged attacks, and then leaping in for some savage melee when one of them gets separated.

Essentially, make it a difficult encounter because of the way the encounter works, not because of "higher stats". A monster's stat block is merely a set of tools to make a challenging encounter, not a challenging encounter on it's own.

Gamerlord
2009-11-26, 08:19 PM
Yeah, but he's less likely to miss than the PCs. That's pretty key. It'll be interesting to hear how this plays out, when do you plan on running this guy?

I plan on having him go straight into melee, spend his daily and encounter powers quickly to deal some major damage to the fighter, and use his utility to shift over to the casters, and twin strike them to the end.

Asbestos
2009-11-26, 08:40 PM
I plan on having him go straight into melee, spend his daily and encounter powers quickly to deal some major damage to the fighter, and use his utility to shift over to the casters, and twin strike them to the end.
And use his immediate actions to beat on the Fighter and Ranger.

Gamerlord
2009-11-26, 08:42 PM
Yeah, that to.

Gamerlord
2009-11-27, 12:09 PM
Oh for the love of- great, aforementioned session just happened, and they COMPLETELY derailed the adventure, racked themselves up heavily in debt, and now are going on an entirely different quest.

Guinea Anubis
2009-11-27, 12:14 PM
Oh for the love of- great, aforementioned session just happened, and they COMPLETELY derailed the adventure, racked themselves up heavily in debt, and now are going on an entirely different quest.

Got to love players, this is why I have stopped making any plans since my players wreck them every time.

Sliver
2009-11-27, 12:26 PM
Might have been the best tactic against the gnoll... not to encounter it in the first place..

Gamerlord
2009-11-27, 12:29 PM
Got to love players, this is why I have stopped making any plans since my players wreck them every time.

Here is what basically happened:
:smallfurious:

They were fighting a dragon, near the beginning, the fighter and cleric sneak through a passage to flank the dragon, not relieving the dragon already knows that they are there, he then flies over to the casters and ambushes the casters, a few rounds later, the invoker is ripped apart, with the fighter,ranger,cleric, and sorcerer hammering away at the dragon, they manage to slay it, but when the get to the temple in the town to rez the invoker, they realize they can't afford it, It never occurred to them that they could just SELL THEIR UNUSED MAGIC ITEMS, and they made some massive offer of GPs at a later date if they rez their friend now. The temple agrees, and says they want the GPs tomorrow, the PCs agree, they then go of on some massive scheme to get money that fails horribly. The next day they go to the temple and beg to pay back in some other way, the temple then asks them to find THE INVINCIBLE COAT OF ARND. And so the adventure begins!
:smallfurious:

I guess I can figure out some way to fit the gnoll in the new adventure, but still! :smallfurious::smallfurious:

Dixieboy
2009-11-27, 12:30 PM
Might have been the best tactic against the gnoll... not to encounter it in the first place..

A strange game, the only winning move is not to play.

Sorry. :smallredface:

Asbestos
2009-11-27, 12:50 PM
What happens if they don't pay up? The priests kill the guy that was rezzed? Hold him hostage?

Sliver
2009-11-27, 12:50 PM
The next day they go to the temple and beg to pay back in some other way, the temple then asks them to find THE INVINCIBLE COAT OF ARND. And so the adventure begins!
:smallfurious:

I guess I can figure out some way to fit the gnoll in the new adventure, but still! :smallfurious::smallfurious:

What happened with the basic "There are gnolls terrorizing the road. Go kill them" quests?

Gamerlord
2009-11-27, 01:32 PM
What happened with the basic "There are gnolls terrorizing the road. Go kill them" quests?
That wasn't the original quest, they were supposed to discover a secret conspiracy led by him.

Gamerlord
2009-11-27, 01:33 PM
What happens if they don't pay up? The priests kill the guy that was rezzed? Hold him hostage?

Pelor strips the cleric of his power, and they get hunted down by bounty hunters.

FoE
2009-11-27, 01:39 PM
No battle plan survives contact with the enemy, gamerkid.

Hiest, monkey
2009-11-27, 01:54 PM
My strategy for any such fight is that your characters have a few limited advantages to use. Use them wisely.

You have mobility, four characters can move much more than one. Delay actions so you can dodge as much damage as you can, ad react with a counterattack!

You have numbers, so spread out.

You have obscurish rules, like fighting defensively, and height and cover bonuses.

In response to your players oweing the church money: have them be on the run: maybe Pelor spares the cleric because Pelor understands his overall significance. But, now these players are constantly in disguise, running around. Sure, your plan is ruined, and sure, they didn't take the course of action you believe was the best, but life goes on.

These players could flee to a different kingdom and start anew. Or they could become vassals to the church, fighting risky fights, assassinating heretics, doing the church's dirty work.

Think outside the box, GamerKid. They haven't so much ruined your plans as given you more room to play with them. For example, they now have the enmity of the church, so maybe they'll find refuge with less traditional company. Maybe they get to learn that not all orcs are evil, some accept those excomunicated from the church of Pelor. Or maybe now they have to somehow fight paladins of Pelor, and not kill them (because that would be against their alignment), and somehow survive.

Player error is a godsend: it teaches players the harsh reality of the imaginary world.

Plus, Paladin NPCs are awesome.

Gamerlord
2009-11-27, 02:00 PM
No battle plan survives contact with the enemy, gamerkid.


*sigh* I know, I know. *sigh*

Tyndmyr
2009-11-27, 04:01 PM
It is metagaming. The characters now know to save their dailies/action points/what-have-you for an enemy only the players know of in advance.

It can lead to metagaming yes, but it isn't metagaming in itself.

ANY player knowledge that the character doesn't have can be used for metagaming. Having the knowledge isn't metagaming, or every single player ever would be constantly metagaming.

Using it inappropriately is.

What we're talking about here, someone sneaking a peek at DM notes isn't metagaming at all. It is rude, and generally not something I'd advise doing, but I dislike when people pick an arbitrary label to slap on everything they dislike, regardless of what it means.

Yakk
2009-11-27, 05:01 PM
Any tips,tactics, or criticism of our party build?
Note that the OP asked for advice, immediately after listing information.

While technically he didn't order the priest killed, he did call the priest meddlesome.

Thajocoth
2009-11-27, 05:14 PM
What you need is not to forsake plans, but to keep them loose enough that things aren't wasted, they're used elsewhere. For example, I decided to have a few battles against Warforged and constructs and stuff, but the storyline was at a major fork. So... If the PCs don't catch the villain's lies and she usurps the city, they can gain access to her throne room through a portal in the Artificer's Tower. If the PCs do catch her lies and call her out on it, she teleports to the Artificer's Tower (preferably with the king). The latter is what happened. Basically, the encounters are disconnected enough that I can contrive them to be anywhere as if that's what I planned all along.

Next session (tomorrow), they're gonna face a group of Warforged on what's basically a Robo-Rally board, then a cube shaped room with gravity spheres allowing all walls and the ceiling to be walked on, then the villain's treasure hoard (a treasure golem that'll get up when/if they try to take some), and, finally, the villain AND the king. The king is under some sort of spell to try to protect the villain, just to make things interesting. This will bring them to level 10 and end the major story the PCs have been going through since level 1.

If they had failed earlier and the dragon married the king, then started setting up defenses and so forth, then once she revealed herself, they would've gotten a tip that there's a portal from the Artificer's Tower that'd bring them near the throne room (specifically into the villain's treasure hoard). The treasure hoard and final battle would be moved to the castle.

If something else entirely happened, I'd figure it out.

So the story is affected by the PCs, but the encounters are still plannable. You get what I mean?

Also, you need to hide your notes from the PCs. Try learning to read/write in Standard Galactic or Rot13. Unfortunately, neither of those mask numbers... But at least the PCs won't know what they're facing, even if they've got some numeric stats.

Gamerlord
2009-11-27, 05:18 PM
What is standard galactic or Rot13?

Thajocoth
2009-11-27, 06:54 PM
What is standard galactic or Rot13?

Rot 13 is a rotation of the alphabet 13 letters.

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

becomes

NOPQRSTUVWXYZABCDEFGHIJKLM


It's usually kinda hard to read, though doing Rot 13 a second time turns it back into normal text.

(Note: Everything I say I say in Rot 26 'cause it's twice as secure... [Note note: Rot 26 rotates the alphabet 26 characters leaving you with the same alphabet, it's not secure at all.])

-----

Standard Galactic Alphabet is an alternate set of characters to represent the alphabet. It originates from the Commander Keen series of video games (an awesome series), and I happen to have memorized it.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/09/Translation_Standard_Galactic_Alphabet.PNG

So this sign:
http://www.3drealms.com/keen1/images/keen14.jpg
Says: "Lower Vortiville"

Gamerlord
2009-11-27, 06:59 PM
Very interesting, I doubt I'll be able to master it though, I stink at learning languages.

Golden-Esque
2009-11-27, 08:31 PM
So at the end of last session, I saw my DM, known as Gamerkid I believe on this forum, writing something on a piece of paper, I asked him what it was, and he told me it was a monster for next session. So I took a peek at the paper when he wasn't looking.

He's throwing a level 7 Gnoll ranger savage berserker at us next session! With over 100 HP!

We're just a level 2 party composing of:
Me, a Razorclaw shifter ranger.
A Deva sorcerer.
A Teifling fighter.
A Eldarin invoker.
And a Human cleric.

Any tips,tactics, or criticism of our party build? :smalleek:

I've done worse to my players, and have had worse done to me :).

Thajocoth
2009-11-28, 11:22 AM
Very interesting, I doubt I'll be able to master it though, I stink at learning languages.

You could always replace certain segments with symbols. Have one symbol for each of:
"AC"
"Fort"
"Reflex"
"Will"
"start of next turn"
"end of next turn"
"save ends"
"aftereffect"
"dazed"
ect...

And use letters for digits. A = 0, B = 1 ... J = 9. So 9001 becomes JAAB.

The letters for digits alone will make it very difficult for your players to get your monster's stats by peeking at your notes. Symbols for digits would work even better.

Or you could just be more careful with your notes...

Sotha_Cid
2009-11-28, 03:26 PM
Just as a note, according to 4th Edition Core, clerics don't get their divine powers from their deities directly. They gain them upon being officially accepted into the brotherhood (or sisterhood) and are bestowed upon them via a ritual.

Generally, when you've got a guy who is doing **** Moves in one of the divine classes, they don't get divine sanction straight from Pelor. They just send out avengers or whatnot.

Of course, this is your campaign and all, but I'm just mentioning what is written in the PHB.

Gamerlord
2009-11-28, 03:40 PM
You could always replace certain segments with symbols. Have one symbol for each of:
"AC"
"Fort"
"Reflex"
"Will"
"start of next turn"
"end of next turn"
"save ends"
"aftereffect"
"dazed"
ect...

And use letters for digits. A = 0, B = 1 ... J = 9. So 9001 becomes JAAB.

The letters for digits alone will make it very difficult for your players to get your monster's stats by peeking at your notes. Symbols for digits would work even better.

Or you could just be more careful with your notes...

Yeah I'll try that. And I guess I'll have to be careful.

Also, this is my campaign world from 3.5 a few hundred years later, so clerics still get their powers from their deities.

Helgraf
2009-11-28, 03:44 PM
You act like that's a bad thing.:smalltongue:

No, but it is a boring thing that stifles taking more creative options in the quest for accuracy.

It's a *yawn* thing.

Helgraf
2009-11-28, 03:48 PM
He has 154 HP, AC 17, Fortitude 23, Reflex 19, Will 17.

How will he be a "easy challenge"?

Level 2 character.
+1 to hit (Level 2/2)
+3 to hit (Assuming attack stat of 16)
----
+4 to hit "base"
+2 Proficiency
----
+6 to hit "Base AC"

So, hits AC 50% of the time. The real problem is attacking fortitude where they'll hit 10% of the time.

Now, if they have a +3 Proficiency weapon, they'll hit AC better than 50% of the time with vs AC attacks. Not exactly difficult.

Or if they took Weapon Expertise for their given weapon.

Or if they have powers that grant bonuses to hit for their allies or themselves.

Or if they flank.

Or a rogue with a dagger (+1 attack - Rogue weapon talent)
Or a fighter with 1H or 2H weapon option (+1 attack)

Or if any of them have a magic weapon.

Lots of ways to ensure you're hitting this "beast" more than 50% of the time.

And that's without an 18 or 20 power stat.

Characters designed to hit his other defenses will be a little rougher off, especially if someone chose to focus on X vs Fortitude attacks, but anyone who has vs. AC attacks will be golden.

Helgraf
2009-11-28, 03:54 PM
Oh ok. I still think people are overlooking the Savage Beserker template though. The Savage Beserker actually WANTS the Fighter to make melee attacks against it because then it can make a melee basic attack against the Fighter.

So everyone knows what I'm talking about.

Savage Berserker Elite Brute (leader)
Humanoid XP Elite
Defenses +4 Fortitude
Saving Throws +2
Action Point 1
Hit Points +10 per level + Constitution score
Regeneration 5 at 1st level, 10 at 11th level, 15 at 21st level
Powers
Murderous Frenzy
The savage berserker gains 1 action point the first time it
reduces a foe to 0 hit points in an encounter.
Savage Rebuke (immediate reaction, when hit by a melee
attack; at will)
The savage berserker makes a basic melee attack.


I haven't the faintest idea why it has the 'leader' subtype.
Also, not healing people until they're in the Negatives? That's fine, but keep in mind the first time someone goes below 0 the Gnoll is going to gain a 2nd AP.

The SB is pretty much the go-to template when making a Solo monster because of its ability to gain an AP and smack people outside of its own turn. Were I DMing this thing I'd ignore the fighter's marks (I've got plenty of HP to sacrifice for a while) and if he hits, I'd just lay the Gnoll's Savage Rebuke into the fighter. That'll learn him.

Immediate action - he can only use that smack once a round. Just sayin'...

Asbestos
2009-11-28, 08:46 PM
Immediate action - he can only use that smack once a round. Just sayin'...

Incidentally, this is the same amount of times per round that the fighter can attempt to smack him because of his Challenge. A 1/round free hit is much better than doing nothing with that immediate action, especially since he's more likely to hit than the PCs.